The President of United States of America (POTUS) attended the annual Bastille Day parade in Paris, on Thursday along the First Lady Melania Trump as a guest of honour, on his visit to France. Both the Americans watched the parade from the official gallery at the Place de la Concorde where the French First Lady Brigitte Macron greeted them.
President Emmanuel Macron arrived at the gallery later, having travelled down the iconic Champs-Elysees avenue in an open-top military jeep accompanied by his Chief of Defence staff, General Pierre de Villiers.
Flanked by Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and Minister of Defence Florence Parly, the newly elected head of state then stood at attention as the French national anthem, La Marseillaise, was played. Macron and Trump exchanged words and a handshake — their meeting, which was organiCed following an invitation from the French leader, was being closely watched by the global media.
Groups of US Army personnel were to take part in the military parade in a gesture that marks the centenary since American troops joined the Allied Powers which included France and the British Empire in their efforts to defeat the belligerents of what became known as the Great War.
Added to this were six US F-16 fighter jets and two F-22s, which staged a fly-over in the path of nine French Air Force Alpha jets. The parade was due to last two hours and involved 3,720 soldiers, 149 vehicles, 62 motorbikes, 241 mounted soldiers, 63 planes and 29 helicopters.
The Trumps were due to return to Washington shortly after the parade finished. There was a high security presence across the French capital while the official acts were underway. Bastille Day celebrations in the southern city of Nice were last year hit by a terror attack that killed 86 people.